Our rambunctious one-year old: Taking a closer look at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as it approaches its first birthday

Iowa Banking Law Dickinson Law Firm Des Moines Iowa

Posted on 05/31/2012 at 09:43 AM by The Newsroom

Contained within the Federal Reserve as an independent agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has proven to be one of the most controversial outgrowths of the Dodd-Frank Act.  The CFPB officially came into existence on July 21, 2011. As its central mission, the CFPB asserts: “to make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans — whether they are applying for a mortgage, choosing among credit cards, or using any number of other consumer financial products.”  In fact, the agency is posturing itself as being so consumer friendly that it has its own Facebook page and Twitter feed. The CFPB states on its website that  its mission means “above all…ensuring that consumers get the information they need to make the financial decisions they believe are best for themselves and their families—that prices are clear up front, that risks are visible, and that nothing is buried in fine print. In a market that works, consumers should be able to make direct comparisons among products and no provider should be able to build, or feel pressure to build, a business model around unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices.” Current tasks include rulemaking concerning reloadable prepaid cards and, just this week, the release of proposed rules aimed at supervising risky activities of nonbanks that provide consumer finance products. The long list of regulations inherited by the CFPB from other federal agencies for which it now has enforcement responsibility may come as a surprise.  Bear in mind, the list below consists of existing regulations; many more will be forthcoming from this powerful new independent agency into which most consumer finance protection responsibility has now been placed.  Here are the current regulations for which the CFPB has primary responsibility:

  • Regulation B: Equal Credit Opportunity

  • Regulation C: Home Mortgage Disclosure

  • Regulation D: Alternative Mortgage Parity Act

  • Regulation E: Electronic Funds Transfers

  • Regulation F: Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

  • Regulation G: S.A.F.E. Mortgage Licensing Act – Federal Registration of Residential Mortgage  Loan Originators

  • Regulation H: S.A.F.E. Mortgage Licensing Act – State Compliance and Bureau Registration System

  • Regulation I: Disclosure Requirements for Depository Institutions Lacking Federal Deposit Insurance

  • Regulation J: Land Registration

  • Regulation K: Purchasers’ Revocation Rights, Sales Practices and Standards

  • Regulation L: Special Rules of Practice

  • Regulation M: Consumer Leasing

  • Regulation N: Mortgage Acts and Practices-Advertising

  • Regulation O: Mortgage Assistance Relief Services

  • Regulation P: Privacy of Consumer Financial Information

  • Regulation V: Fair Credit Reporting

  • Regulation X: Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act

  • Regulation Z: Truth in Lending

  • Regulation DD: Truth in Savings

In the case of each of the foregoing regulations, the CFPB has encouraged the public to provide comments for ways to streamline or improve these regulations. We will continue to monitor new rulemaking (including rule changes) as this large, new agency begins its work in earnest over the next few months.

The material in this blog is not intended, nor should it be construed or relied upon, as legal advice. Please consult with an attorney if specific legal information is needed.

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